Mr. Seward to Mr. Dayton.

No. 137.]

Sir: Your despatch of March 19 (No. 128) has been received.

It is a source of much pleasure to us that the European maritime powers are engaged in discussing among themselves the defects of the law of neutral rights in maritime war. We are not ambitious to enter into these debates so long as our divisions shall continue to impair our national prestige. If we succeed soon in healing those divisions, as we now expect, then our interests will more than ever be found moving in the line of the liberal principles which we have so constantly advocated and maintained. In any case, I think it cannot be long before some of the continental maritime states will be brought by their own embarrassments to see how deeply they them selves are interested in our resumption of our former preponderating influence in favor of neutral rights.

I am, sir, your obedient servant,


William L. Dayton, Esq., &c., &c., &c.